NEW YORK – Did regulatory czar Cass Sunstein resign in response to White House concern that some of his controversial views could become an election issue?
Many of those views were first exposed in a series of WND articles.
President Obama released a brief statement on the departure of Sunstein, thanking him for “his friendship and for his years of exceptional service.”
The White House statement did not provide any reason for Sunstein’s departure.
Politico, which first reported Sunstein was leaving the White House, did not cite any reason for his departure either. The news outlet reported Sunstein will return later this month to his previous post at Harvard Law School.
During his academic career, Sunstein has espoused controversial views on regulating the media and the Internet.
WND first reported in 2008 Sunstein’s proposal that the government ban “conspiracy theorizing,” including by sending agents to infiltrate websites and chat rooms. Among the beliefs Sunstein would ban, is that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.
WND reported that in his 2009 book, “On Rumors,” he argued websites should be obliged to remove “false rumors” while libel laws should be altered to make it easier to sue for spreading such “rumors.”
In the book, Sunstein cited as a primary example of “absurd” and “hateful” remarks, reports by “right-wing websites” alleging an association between President Obama and Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers.
He also singled out radio talker Sean Hannity for “attacking” Obama regarding the president’s “alleged associations.”
Ayers became a familiar name in the 2008 presidential campaign when it was disclosed he worked closely with Obama for years. Obama also launched his political career at a 1995 fundraiser in Ayers’ apartment.
WND also reported Sunstein drew up a “First Amendment New Deal” – a new “Fairness Doctrine” that would include the establishment of a panel of “nonpartisan experts” to ensure “diversity of view” on the airwaves.
Sunstein compared the need for the government to regulate broadcasting to the moral obligation the U.S. had to impose new rules that outlawed segregation.
WND reported Sunstein’s central role in a push for a new “progressive” U.S. Constitution.
In April 2005, Sunstein opened up a conference at Yale Law School titled “The Constitution in 2020,” which sought to change the nature and interpretation of the Constitution by that year. Sunstein was a founder of the movement.
That 2005 event was sponsored by George Soros’ Open Society Institute as well as by the Center for American Progress, which is led by John Podesta.
Podesta served as co-chairman of Obama’s presidential transition team. Podesta’s center is said to be highly influential in helping to craft White House policy.